5 Health Tips for Healthcare Workers' Feet

From swift walks along hospital corridors to extended hours in surgery, healthcare workers' feet bear the brunt of their relentless dedication. Researchers have even discovered that nurses walk an average of 3 to 5 miles during their 12-hour shifts, proving that foot health is an important aspect of the job. The continuous strain of standing/walking can take a toll, impacting healthcare workers' overall well-being and efficiency. So for those feet in need of some extra TLC, here are five tips to optimize your foot health amidst the daily hustle.

1. Prioritize Comfort 

Choosing shoes that offer cushioning, arch support, and a comfortable fit can sometimes be a tedious task. Luckily at Gales®, we make the search process easy. Ranked #1 in independent lab tests for durability, comfort, fit, and pressure reduction, our shoes feature soft-to-touch Ortholite insoles and featherlight XL Extralight® technology (they weigh less than an iPhone!) for all-day satisfaction. A key component of comfort? Your shoes should feel like a hug to your feet!

2. Rotation is Key

Using the same shoes daily can cause them to wear out faster and might not give them enough time to air out properly. Have at least two pairs of work shoes to rotate between so each pair has adequate time to regain its shape. Another benefit to this practice is reducing moisture buildup––which is important to prevent blisters and discomfort.

3. Antimicrobial is a Must

Shoes are notorious for harboring bacteria, especially on laces and mesh fabrics. Since nearly 40% of shoes in a community setting contain traces of Clostridium difficile (C. diff), healthcare workers need to keep antimicrobial protection in mind to prevent sickness for themselves and their patients. With its antimicrobial, laceless, and odor-preventing design, a 2023 study revealed Gales® as the premier footwear for infection control in healthcare settings. 

4. Incorporate Daily Foot Care

Whether you are at home or have a free moment at work, simple, daily foot care goes a long way. Here are some of our favorite practices:

  • Periodically stretch your feet, rotate your ankles, and wiggle your toes after continuous standing or walking. Using a foot roller during work breaks to massage and relax foot muscles is ideal, but if you are in a quick pinch, look for something round to do the trick! Tennis balls are especially effective.
  • After a long day, a foot soak can alleviate pain and reduce inflammation. Soak your feet in warm water with Epsom salts or essential oils. This not only relaxes the muscles but also rejuvenates the feet. Elevating the feet can also reduce swelling and improve circulation.

5. Embrace Compression Socks

Standing for extended periods can cause blood to pool in the lower limbs, leading to swelling and varicose veins. Compression socks can promote circulation, reduce swelling, and offer added support.

For healthcare workers, every step is a testament to their dedication and commitment. Ensuring the health and comfort of those steps is not just a self-care routine; it's an essential aspect of their professional journey. Here's to happy, healthy feet for those who walk the extra mile, every single day.